An easy road you wanted, not this dusty, sandalled wilderness
where the skin of your hands darkens to leather,
your heart to a hardened wineskin with nothing left to drink.
Anointing and Spirit, you once walked together in halcyon days
where your feet were bathed in cream and oil flowed from the rocks.
Now, a squeezing out of every last drop of wine in you, this is how it feels.
I pour new wine into new wineskins, he reminds you;
yield to the pressure of the change. At the end of the process,
I promise, your heart will expand and not burst at the seams,
for I waste nothing, not even a tear.
This alchemy of the heart in the master’s hands
makes wine of your tears and blood, the best bottle at the table.
You do not even know that you are living a vintage year!
View the painting inspired by the poem.